Sunday 26 November 2023

Here's the Evidence

The lack of activity on the blog might lead some to believe that if I was accused of being a wargamer there wouldn't be enough evidence to convict me.

However, dear reader, let me assure you that I have been up to various hobby-related activities of late.

In fact, there's been a bit of a Renaissance.

So, I decided to do a sort of mish-mash post, a smorgasbord of stuff, a digest of various topics, just to bring you up to date.

is definitely the word... Eastern renaissance to be more precise. The TAG Muscovites have always tempted me, and recently I took the plunge. In fact, having got rid of my previous Eastern Renaissance collection a number of years ago (Poles, Cossacks and the like), I've decided to do it again... it's an illness, not a hobby!

First up, some Muscovite Streltsi.

This is Moscow Streltsi regt number 4. 
I went for the uniform which is recorded for this regiment in the 1670s, even though I am setting this project much earlier (c 1600-1650). There are a few uniform differences just because I did them how I wanted them rather than be a slave to 'accuracy' (for example, the raspberry coloured hats, as opposed to the original dull grey, and the yellow button lace as opposed to the original black).

The painting process was set back by a week with this unit when I experienced some spray undercoat bobbling which resulted in the figures spending as couple of days in Dettol, then being washed with soapy water for a couple of days before finally being left to dry thoroughly for a couple of days, finally restarting with some trepidation. After that it was plain sailing and they came out ok.

Recent Game - Never Mind the Condottiere...

On Thursday Andy came round for dinner and a game as he's currently working close to where I live. We decided it was time to get Billhooks out and give it a go. A first outing for The Army of the Duchy of Bavetta (a sort of Milanese condottiere based force) against Andy's army of Haut-Dijon ('not-Burgundians'). We had a lot of fun, enjoyed the first go at the rules, and some hilarity too when my artillery decided to blow itself up with it's first shot! I discovered that Longbows can be devastating against my cavalry, especially in the hands of a player who knows how to roll very decent dice!

A few snaps of the game in progress...

Above: The Haut-Dijon camp... 3D printed tents by Andy.

All in all, Billhooks as it was intended... fun, and bloody. 

...seems a long while ago, back in the mists of October. It was a terrific weekend, as always, and the show was very good. There have been plenty of photos and reports online, so anything I can add might be a bit late to the party. However, I noticed some interesting trends.

  1. The visual and aesthetic appeal of Participation games has been steadily creeping up and nowadays rivals those games designated as Demo Games. Some lovely stuff on show.
  2. Whereas in the past many demo/display games were put on by small groups of 1,2,3,4 people, the number of games being put on by large clubs with the input of a large number of members is evident. It's good to see.
  3. There is still much inspiration to be drawn from the smaller games too... and especially when they are so nicely presented. I spent a lot of time chatting with Kevin and Peter of The Iron Brigade and their Winter is Coming table based on Game of Thrones was very spectacular. I also really liked the Bramley Barn group Elizabethans in Ireland set-up. 

Above, Iron Brigade's "Winter is Coming".
Below: Elizabethans in Ireland

Castles are always an attraction on any display game, and this Partizan the stonemasons had been very busy. The pick of the bunch, along with that seen in the Winter game above, was Dave Andrew's edifice on The Bodkins game, below:

Other inspiration

The recent posts on Facebook by The Perrys regarding the acquisition of some of Peter Cushing's hobby notes really are worth taking a look at. 

There's lots to be learned about the way he (and others of that era) went about the hobby... lots of lovely sketches, flag designs, battle reports, jottings and ideas. It's clear that back then wargames were events. Great efforts were made to ensure the few times each year that fellow hobbyists got to spend across the table from each other were well thought out affairs. There was no sense of 'Fast Play' being preferable - games were fully supported with scenario maps, objectives, and written orders. Great stuff.

That's about it for now... more soon. I am currently painting up more Eastern Renaissance figures and at the same time wondering how to bolster up the Army of Bavetta before next facing the dastardly Haut-Dijon rascals.

That's all for now. All the best ...


  1. A good mix of stuff going on with you of late Phil. The Cushing stuff is fascinating so many thanks for flagging this up:)!

    1. Thanks Steve. Glad you found the Cushing stuff. Very good inspiration for us all I think. Best rgds, Phil

  2. An excellent post that firmly identifies you as a wargamer!

    The Streltsi are excellent.

    I've heard good things about Billhooks but it's not a period I've ever dabbled in.

    And Partizan continues to be an excellent show.

    I've not been able to follow much of the Perry /Cushing saga as I've dropped off Social Media but it does sound a great acquisition. And good that it's gone to a wargaming home.

    1. Thanks Andy. I stand accused; I am a wargamer; admitting it is half the struggle I suppose! Best rgds, Phil

  3. Eastern Renaissance is one I have always fancied doing, so many exotic units! I will be following your progress with great interest, cracking start by the way! I never noticed the Peter Cushing stuff so this is a super bonus, really interesting stuff there.

    1. Glad you like it all Donnie. Eastern renaissance allows me to combine the gaming aspects with the painting of flamboyant units, so fits perfectly. Best rgds. Phil

  4. Thanks, Phil, a good mix of news and lovely pictures. Glad you're still enjoying the hobby. I must give my Russians another airing soon.
    {Andy, don't miss out. I'm not on Facebook and when I go to the Perry site or others, I am asked to sign in or join. I just ignore that and click that bit off. I then have access to the material for long enough to read it. }

    1. Thanks Stephen. And thanks for keeping the VWC going, it's been a great tonic to so many people, myself included. Best rgds. Phil

  5. Those Streltsi are really nice.

    I'm reading about Battle of Khotyn 1621, giving me ideas on trying to re-create it in some way - I'd need to add cossacks with a wagon tabor - I better collect up some lead for the melty pot just in case I succumb.

    Nice to see your Condotterie take the table

    1. Thanks Tidders. Khotyn is very interesting (I have the Helion book) and the campaign offers plenty of scenario ideas and background for the period. Best rgds. Phil

  6. Very nice Streltsi!

    Your observations about games as special events is one to take to heart.

    1. Thanks El Grego. Games are precious... I don't game a lot (and I quite like it that way), so for me it's not just about the game, but the whole narrative and hobby 'experience', to coin a phrase. Best rgds. Phil

  7. Thanks for a very interesting mixed bag in this post. I checked in to see what you have been up to and got a great reward - your figures are always lovely to see even though I often know nothing of the periods. Good to see I'm not alone in wondering if I'm still a wargamer! The 2D art side of my life with painting and the admin has just taken over so i'm really behind with my blog and reading others. You are an inspiration, as ever- thanks.

    1. Thanks Chris. Good to hear from you. Glad it has inspired. Best rgds. Phil

  8. Really interesting post Phil and good to see your developments on the Eastern Renaissance front. Glad to see you both at Partizan and I hope again next Partizan!